Children in North Platte and Kearney will have the opportunity to learn and experience the thrill of creating live music with professional musicians when the Omaha Symphony presents several unique and interactive concert events in those communities during the month of March.
The Omaha Symphony’s All Aboard Tour project is an initiative designed to bring the musical resources and talents of the Omaha Symphony to communities throughout the state of Nebraska. The tour is designed to find ways to engage communities in making music through educational opportunities with the Omaha Symphony as a well as performances with them. The orchestra is under the direction of Ernest Richardson.
The first stop on the All Aboard tour is Kearney. Through a partnership with the String Project at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Omaha Symphony musicians have spent many hours working with nearly 50 string students in third through ninth grade over the past several months. Students in the String Project each have one to four years of experience on the violin, viola, cello or bass, and have studied their instruments under the direction of Dr. Noah Turner Rogoff, professor of music at UNK.
Through All Aboard, symphony musicians Anne Nagosky, violin, and Judy Divis, violist, have prepared the students to perform a collaborative concert with the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday, March 13. The free, public concert will be held at the UNK Fine Arts Building Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m., and will include performances by the String Project students, as well as selections from Beethoven, and an abbreviated, multimedia presentation of the Omaha Symphony family concert, The Misadventures of Melvin the Explorer.
North Platte is the second stop on the All Aboard tour. Presented by the North Platte Concert Association, the Omaha Symphony has introduced the Carnegie Hall LinkUp! educational program to more than 300 students from every public and private school in the North Platte community. Link Up is designed to teach children how to read music and play an instrument, the recorder, while being exposed to high-quality classical music.
Teachers in North Platte began implementing the Link Up curriculum in January. Classroom visits by symphony musicians John Klinghammer, clarinet, and Jason Sudduth, oboe, have provided additional instruction and encouragement to the students, as well as a deeper interest in music as a whole.
Their hard work will culminate in a performance with the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra at a public concert on Tuesday, March 19, 7:30 p.m., showing off their musical chops on the recorder during several pieces. The concert will also include selections from The Misadventures of Melvin the Explorer, and the world premiere of Rock Star Energy, a piece composed for the recorder by North Platte student Kaylen Streeter in a local composition contest. Also the orchestra will play selections by Mendelssohn, Beethoven’s and other composers.
“The LinkUp! curriculum allows the students of North Platte to take their musical classroom experience to a whole new level, allowing for interactions and performance opportunities with world class professional musicians. This program not only helps them learn to read music and play an instrument, but provides a point of inspiration – and a challenge – to rise to the standard of playing music with a live orchestra. It’s an incredibly opportunity for them to experience music in a unique setting, and an opportunity for the whole community to be involved as well.” said T. Adam Goos, Omaha Symphony Vice President of Education and Community Partnerships.
The Omaha Symphony All Aboard tour sponsors include the Hawks Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Union Pacific Railroad.
Sponsors for the Kearney leg of the tour include the UNK Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Committee, the Carol Cope Foundation and the Kearney Area Community Foundation.
North Platte sponsors of Link Up include the John Russell Applegate Fund for Teachers through the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, the NebraskaLand National Bank, the North Platte Public School Foundation and the North Platte Concert Association. The concert association appreciates the support of Creative Interiors and Great Western Bank, corporate sponsors of the evening concert
Margaret Balerud, president of the North Platte Concert Association, commented, “The North Platte Concert Association is so pleased to be part of the Link-Up Program. It brings outstanding talent to our community.We are thrilled with the musical exposure and opportunity given to our North Platte fifth graders. Everyone benefits”
The Omaha Symphony is a non-profit organization that presents more than 200 live orchestral performances from September through June. In addition to MasterWorks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movie Music, Symphony Joslyn, and Family series concerts, the Omaha Symphony’s nationally recognized education programs touch the lives of more than 30,000 schoolchildren each year. For tickets or information regarding the Omaha Symphony, call 402-342-3560 or visit omahasymphony.org.
Admission to the concert is with membership in the North Platte Concert Association. Memberships can be purchased from Pat Hoban, the secretary of the concert association, 1412 West 4th Street (308-534-4699). Memberships are $50 for adults, $100 for families, and $15 for students. The concert association’s website is npconcertassociation.org
Students who are selected to perform with the orchestra will receive one ticket for a parent. Ten minutes before the evening concert a limited number of individual tickets will be sold for $15.00.